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María Isabel Domenech: Educator with a Divine Purpose

By Jerry Duggan María Isabel Domenech was raised in a Christian household, her mother an educator and her father a banker. She felt called to convert to Catholicism after attending a retreat at Manresa Retreat House in her native Puerto Rico at the age of 21. At the time, she did not recognize how transformational that decision truly was.    Now, decades later, …

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Sue Weishar: Guided by Encounter

By Mary Baudouin Sue Weishar knew as a young girl that she wanted to experience cultures other than the one she knew growing up in the Midwest. That desire led her around the world – to Samoa as a Peace Corps Volunteer and to Guatemala as a teacher – and to Louisiana as coordinator of international students at the University of Louisiana Lafayette and director of Immigration and Refugee Services …

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Ella Chevis: Like Family

By Therese Fink Meyerhoff Before the pandemic, Ella Chevis had a date once a month with a Jesuit. There was no scandal; it’s just the way Ms. Chevis approaches her ministry as director of nursing for the St. Alphonsus Rodriguez Pavilion in Grand Coteau, La. The Jesuit in question loves to go out to restaurants, so Ms. Chevis took him out to dinner every month. Because that’s what one does for family.   “The atmosphere here (at the Pavilion) is so beautiful. …

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Mark McNeil: Always Growing in Faith

By Jerry Duggan As a theology teacher and assistant principal for formation at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory of Houston, Mark McNeil has made a career out of drawing students and colleagues closer to God. What many do not know, however, is that McNeil’s own faith journey has had many twists and turns.   McNeil grew up in south Texas. …

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Nelda Turner: Sharing the Graces of Ignatian Spirituality with Others

By Jerry Duggan  Growing up, Nelda Turner was taught to share everything –  food, laughter and friendship – to consider the well-being of others and not just herself. Decades later, she practices that same principle in her work as a spiritual director and a retreat director.   “In my work as a director, I am here to help people recognize how and where God is working …

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Mystery Benefactor: The Story of a Generous Soul

The story of Anna Kurzweil, a dreamer, diarist, poet, and world traveler with a missionary’s heart, who abandoned youthful hopes for the convent to care for her elderly mother, and who spun a fortune from a public school teacher’s salary of less than $20,000 a year, is a twist on the scriptural story of the widow’s mite.